PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Northern Territory government on Friday released no-go zone boundaries that will remain free from hydraulic fracturing exploration or production.
As part of recommendations from the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory, areas exempt from petroleum activity will cover 48.44%, or 654 900 km2, of the Territory.
The inquiry determined, through its research and consultation, there should be areas that are off limits to any petroleum exploration or production activities, due to these areas’ unique values and their important role in providing environmental, social, health and cultural benefits to surrounding communities.
In identifying these areas the Territory government took into consideration a number of existing factors such as granted exploration permits, Aboriginal land and current land use.
“The Territory government has a clear plan to protect our environment, create local jobs and ensure the actions of government and industry are transparent and accountable,” said Primary Industry and Resources Minister Paul Kirby.
The government will consult with traditional owners through the relevant land councils to determine whether or not they would like to declare areas within Aboriginal land as reserve blocks.
“Our government respects the rights of traditional owners under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act to determine what activity occurs on their land,” Kirby said.
“We are delivering stronger regulation and at the same time creating certainty for companies planning for onshore gas exploration this dry season.”
The Northern Territory government has previously said that it would implement all 135 recommendations made by the inquiry.